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How to keep the kids happy during a family outdoor portrait session

How to keep the kids happy during a family outdoor portrait session

Do you have a family outdoor portrait session coming up? Just thinking about how your kiddos will behave starts to make your a little anxious. It that’s you, keep reading.

Every mama dreads a melt down in the middle of the shoot–it’s a close second to a meltdown in the middle of the produce aisle on a Saturday in Walmart. When our family had our family shoot with our two year old daughter last fall, I was more worried about her throwing a fit more than anything else.

That’s why I wanted to give you my six essential tips and let you in on a few tricks I do to keep your kids not only lasting the whole hour but keep them happy and walk away saying they had a blast and want to do it again!

We will go over these six tips and tricks on how to keep the kiddos happy during a photo session:

    • How I get their attention
    • Dress for success
    • Bring a favorite toy or an eye catching toy for the littles
    • Bribe ’em! Why I never leave home without gummy bears
    • How I get kids to stay still
    • Essentials to bring: wipes for their nose and snacks

1. How I get Their Attention

Breckenridge Family and Kids Photographer

For the baby and toddlers, this Elmo doll is perfect because it has Velcro legs that I’m sure are supposed to wrap around the side of the crib or stroller. I use it to wrap it around my camera lens and it works really well with voices and they can see their own reflection in the mirror. This little red friend is gold!

2. Dress for Success

Winter here in Breckenridge can be cold, BUT if you’re dressed properly then the sunshine and low humidity make being outside enjoyable. I still recommend bringing lots of layers and even a blanket to your family outdoor portrait session if you have a really small one. Choose cute outerwear that keeps them warm. Even in the summer evenings it’s chilly, so those cute sundresses and sandals you’d wear in Texas won’t be enough. I have a complete style guide I can send you and can even customize a style guide for your session if you request it. Dressing warm is just one way to make sure your kiddo can last as long as possible during our session.

3. Bring a Favorite Toy or an Eye-Catching Toy For the Littles

what to bring to a family session for kids

Does your little one have a favorite lovey? Don’t leave home without it! Stuffed animals and favorite toys go a long way with kids and aid in keeping them happy. I’ve seen LOL surprise dolls, trucks, and bunnies like little Frank’s above on sessions and sometimes they’ve saved the day!

4. Bribe ’em, and Why I never Leave Home Without Gummy Bears

These girls were extra sweet, so we wrapped up our session at the candy shop on Breckenridge Main Street. When we don’t have the the convenience of the candy shop being right there, I do have a little trick though for when we are on a session.

This is why I never leave home without gummy bears. I bring a fresh bag of gummy bears with me on any session with kids. (Are you an adult that loves gummy bears and is easily bribed? Just request them!) I make a theatrical performance out of selecting the gummy bear, then to their horror and surprise, I bite off it’s feet. Then with the sticky exposed part of the gummy bears upper half, I stick the bear to the top of my camera lens. That way, when I need them to look at the camera, I just ask them to smile at the gummy bear. They think it’s pretty special when the gummy bear is still stuck to the top of my camera lens by the end of the session. Then I give them a few gummy bears at the end of the session for being so good.

5. How I Get Kids To Stay Still

Ants in their pants? Not with me! I have a little trick to get the toddlers and elementary age kids to stay right where I want them. Want to know what I do? I keep quarters in my pocket. When I want them to stand in a certain place and not move from that spot, I pull out the quarter and ask them if they’d like to have it. Of course they say yes, so I tell them that I’m going to put it under their shoe. If they can keep it under their shoe until I tell them they can move, they can have it once I’m done. Works every time! Promise you it’s worth the small investment!

6. Essentials to Bring For Your Family Outdoor Portrait Session: Wipes For Their Nose and Snacks

May not be able to tell it here, but Charlie is chowing down on some peanut butter filled pretzels in between shots. I always advise my parents to bring the kids to the session well rested and fed. Eating right before the session limits the hangry outbursts. Even if your little one ate their favorite Mac and cheese before the session, it’s still a good idea to bring a small snack with you on the session.

Want more tips and tricks to keep the kiddos happy during a family session? Just book a family session with me and you can get first hand experience. Nothing like in person training! Hope to see you and your little ones soon!

How to Decide What to Wear Using Ideas From My Fall Style Guide

How to Decide What to Wear Using Ideas From My Fall Style Guide

Having trouble deciding what to wear for your fall family or engagement session?

As soon as a client books, one of the most common questions I receive is, “What do we wear?” I totally get it. I created a style guide to help my clients know what to wear for their fall sessions.  After having our own family photos taken last week, I get how important knowing what to wear is to make you feel comfortable and confident going into your session. There’s already too much to worry about, so I like to help with this as much as I can.

Now granted, I am in no way a style expert, but I do know what looks good together in front of my camera. I wrote this blog “What to wear to your Fall 2020 Portrait Session” too to give you more ideas of what to wear. From mountain casual to elegant styles, here are some ideas for what to wear to your fall portrait session.

Hollander Family Fall Portrait Session

The Hollander Family, a family of 9, asked for a little help with outfits and I sent them my style guide slideshow with ideas of color combinations and outfit choices. They showed up looking so good to stand out with the mountain backdrop and fall colors.

What to wear to my fall family session in Breckenridge Colorado
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge
What to wear to my fall family session in Breckenridge Colorado
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge

Harris Family Fall Portrait Session

The Harris Family didn’t just use my style guide for inspiration, but actually purchased items from the guide.

That might be the most flattering thing ever, and wow did they look amazing! So well put together!

I think a dress on little girls and us older girls is always a good idea. The men look so handsome and complimentary to the girls!

Get the Look

Kids outfits: Girls Corduroy Overalls 

 

What to wear to my fall family session in Breckenridge Colorado
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge
What to wear to my fall family session in Breckenridge Colorado
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge
What to wear to my fall family session in Breckenridge Colorado
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge

Hernandez Family Fall Photo Session

The Hernandez family also came dressed in some of my favorite looks from this year’s style guide.

Greg’s button up from JCrew is a great option for a Colorado family shoot. I feel like you can’t go wrong with buffalo plaid. Clarisa’s sweater was another one of my picks from Lulus.

I was so bummed that they sold out of my size because I would also own this sweater!

Get the Look

 

What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge
What to wear to my fall family session in Breckenridge Colorado
What to wear to a fall family session in Breckenridge
What to wear to my fall family session in Breckenridge Colorado

Courtney and Andrew Engagement Photo Session

Courtney and Andrew wore classic colors that look great in the summer or fall here in Colorado. Her dusty lavender dress was gorgeous and flowy and a suit jacket is always a great idea for the guys. An engagement session is the perfect time to dress it up! 

What to wear to my engagement session in Breckenridge Colorado
What to wear to an engagement session in Breckenridge
What to wear to an engagement session in Breckenridge
What to wear to my engagement session in Breckenridge Colorado
What to wear to an engagement session in Breckenridge

Sydney and Justin’s Fall Anniversary Session 

Soft pinks, lavenders and blues are always a good choice for any session regardless of the season. I just loved Sydeny and Justin’s anniversary session. Just like Courtney and Andrew, they chose smiliar color pallets, but perfectly dressed mountain casual for their session.

What to wear for a Fall Photo Session in Breckenridge
What to wear for a Fall Photo Session in Breckenridge
What to wear for a Fall Photo Session in Breckenridge
What to wear for a Fall Photo Session in Breckenridge

Emmalie and Nico’s Engagement Fall Photo Session

Speaking of dressing it up, Emmalie and Nico’s engagement session was a dream! Their session was in early September, so the colors hadn’t started changing yet, but the colors of the dresses she wore brought fall colors a little early! She looked gorgeous in her dresses from ASOS which has tons of great looks if you’re looking for a flowy dress for your engagement session.

What to wear to an engagement session in Breckenridge
What to wear to an engagement session in Breckenridge
What to wear to an engagement session in Breckenridge

Kayla and Tom’s Engagement Photo Session

If casual is more of your thing, take a page out of Kayla and Tom’s book and wear neutral colors with jeans and nice shoes so you pop off the mountian backdrop.

What to wear to my engagement session in Vail, Colorado
What to wear to my engagement session in Vail, Colorado
What to wear to my engagement session in Vail, Colorado
What to wear to my engagement session in Vail, Colorado

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What to Wear to Your Fall 2020 Portrait Session

What to Wear to Your Fall 2020 Portrait Session

It’s tricky to decide what to wear for fall portrait sessions in the mountains.When the cold comes in early September, sometimes it’s just too cold for a dress and sandals by themselves. I have some suggestions for new fall styles that will help you be fashionable, help you POP in front of those yellow aspen trees, and keep your color tones camera friendly. 

First, let’s discuss color palettes. Just like in the summer, I recommend mute colors over bold primary ones. During fall, warm neutrals such as camel, taupe, cream, champagne, and great always look great. If you’d like to incorporate color into your session wardrobe, choose sophisticated jewel-toned versions of bright primary colors such as: mustard over yellow, burgundy over wed, camel over orange, sage or emerald over green, and navy over blue. These jewel tones will photograph beautifully in the Colorado fall season. 

Now let’s talk about coordinating your outfit with your significant other or even your whole family. Keep in mind outfits will look most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate, but don’t actually match. Meaning don’t everyone wear white and khaki (This isn’t your family photos circa 2010 on the beach, people!)

Wear a different dominant color, but stay within that color palette family. If you’re wearing a blush dress, then the guy can wear a navy coat with gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes. Little tip, it’s easier to pick your outfit first and then put together the guy or kiddos outfits based on that! That’s why I have these selections for you!

Shop this Colorado Fall style:

1 Fedora on Amazon

2 Warm Shaw on Amazon

3 Levi’s Jeans on Amazon

4 Naturalizer Boots on Amazon

5 Kendra Scott earrings on Nordstrom

Shop this Casual Chic Fall style:

1 Basic Dress on Amazon

2 Levi’s Jean Jacket on Amazon

3 Wrap Dress on Amazon

4 Booties on Amazon

5 Kids Cape on Janie and Jack

6 Kids Denim Leggings on Janie and Jack

7 Kids Booties on Janie and Jack

Shop these Flatter Figuring Wrap Dresses for Women and Girls:

1 Shirt Dress on Lulus

2 Girls Shirt Dress on HM

3 Linen Wrap Dress on Madewell

4 Floral Print Wrap Dress on Lulus

5 Navy Floral Wrap Dress on Lulus

6 Long Sleeve Shirt Dress on Amazon

Shop these Mens/Boys Plaid Styles:

1 Men’s Indigo Plaid on JCrew

2 Boy’s Linen Plaid on Zara

3 Plaid Jacket on Amazon 

4 Men’s Cotton Plaid on Toad&Co.

5 Men’s Columbia Shirt on Amazon

6 Men’s Plaid on Gap/Old Navy

I’ve purchased a few of these pieces for my own wardrobe and can’t wait to wear them this fall! I love a good wrap dress so I got the blue striped shirt dress and the navy floral wrap dress from Lulus. I plan to wear them with my new Kendra Scott earrings that I got in my September Trunk Club from Nordstroms. Use my referral link to get a discount on your first trunk

Already in Breckenridge and want something quick for your session? Here are my favorite boutiques on Main Street:
For the Guys, I recommend going to Mountain Goat on Breckenridge’s Main Street. For Ladies, my favorite boutiques in town are Ruby Jane, Beloved, Vintage Sweet and Chick, and Valley Girl. If you have little ones and need some last minute accessories or outfits, check out Ruby Jane and Breckenridge Kids.

I’d suggest clicking the Store links and see if your size is still available. Most of these pieces are handpicked by myself and my sister-in-law, Meaghen, who works for Amazon Fashion. If you choose to shop the Amazon links, I will receive a small commision with no extra cost to you!

Can’t wait for our portrait session!

 

Favorite Restaurants on Main Street in Breckenridge

Favorite Restaurants on Main Street in Breckenridge

Yes, that’s me enjoying a cold Rosé and Hummus plate from The Crown in Breckenridge. Some of the best memories while on vacation, or just on a random Tuesday night in town, actually happen around a table. It’s always nice just to let-down, relax and enjoy a meal together.

 

Best Family Restaurants in Breckenridge

Eric's Breckenridge

Erics – I love the garbage pizza from Downstairs at Eric’s on white garlic crust-Always eat your crust with honey

Fatties – I love the daily specials from Fatty’s or their Cheeseburger pizza (not on the menu but you can special order)

Mi Casa – Chili Rellenos and a house marg are the best at Mi Casa. Insider tip: just get three orders of their mild salsa-it’s like chunky pico de gallo with no spice and a little sweet. I can drink this stuff.

Giampetro – I always get the Eggplant Parmesan and a Beet Salad from Giampetro. You also can’t go wrong with a slice of their cheese New York Style Pizza.

 

Best Date Night Restaurants in Breckenridge

River Center Breckenridge

Aurum – Aurum has absolutely the best wine list in Breckenridge! I go for their happy hour and order a handful of their apps or a burger. 50% off wine also doesn’t hurt for a great reason to go early (4-6 PM).

Mountain Flying Fish – I never order from the menu at Mountain Flying Fish. I just order whatever the Chef’s Special that day and have never been disappointed!

Hearthstone Hearthstone has my favorite indoor atmosphere for a nice dinner out. Order a bottle of Van Duzer Pinot Noir out of Willamette Valley Oregon and their crab cakes.

Blue River Bistro – Their lamb chop and paella are fantastic and if you like a drink for dessert, you can’t go wrong with the espresso martini from Blue River Bistro.

Main Street Summer 2020 Breckenridge

Best Breakfast

The Crown – Power Toast for breakfast and a chai tea latte. If you’re there just for a snack and cocktail, get their hummus plate and Ruby Red cocktail.

Mom’s Bakery – Baked Oatmeal and Baked Tea

Amazing Grace -The Opus with chicken apple sausage and a coffee

Blue Moose – Huevos Rancheros hands down! I’d skip their coffee here and order an OJ!

Best Treats

Mountain Top Cookies -How can you have a favorite cookie? There are no bad ones.

La Crepe Cart – The Parisian is my fav!

Higgles Ice Cream – Oreo Cheesecake is my and Savvy’s favorite. It’s what we get after picking her up from school every Friday afternoon.

Mountain House Cookies Breckenridge

Breckenridge Family Photographer

Looking for a family photographer during your stay in Breckenridge? I offer portrait sessions for families of all sizes, from couples to multiple generations. Contact me for more info today.

Breckenridge Family Photography, Clark Family Session

Breckenridge Family Photography, Clark Family Session

My Breckenridge Family Photography Sessions have filled up this summer! The Clark family, visiting Breckenridge from Houston, Texas, squeezed into my last available date the week of Fourth of July.

I’m so happy that I got to shoot their family session while they were here!

I asked them if they had a special spot in Breckenridge to shoot their family portraits, and they left it up to me to choose. When we both arrived, Pamela jumped out of the car and said, “This is perfect. This is where Ellie caught her first fish and where the girls used to play in the teepee!”

Family Photo Session at Sawmill Reservoir

I took them to Sawmill Reservoir, also known as the Scott Griffith Lodge at the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. They hadn’t been there since the girls were little, but it turned out to be a special location to them nonetheless. 

We had the best time, and the Clark girls were so carefree and fun to take pictures of. 

Clark_Family_Breckenridge_44
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Sunset Family Photos at Baldy Mountain Overlook

At the end of our session, we headed up to Baldy Mountain Overlook and got to catch a rainbow and the sun setting over the Ten Mile Range and Breckenridge Ski Resort. It was absolutely magical! One second it started sprinkling, and then the next the rainbow peeked out for just a few moments, long enough to capture one of my favorite family portraits ever!

Clark_Family_Breckenridge_50
Family Photo Session Breckenridge CO
Breckenridge Family Portrait Sessions Are in Full Force This Summer

Breckenridge Family Portrait Sessions Are in Full Force This Summer

I am so excited to share my first family portrait session in Breckenridge since March! It was a long awaited three months to be able to book sessions again. Breckenridge was just not the same without its hustle and bustle of tourists shopping on Main Street, long waits at restaurants and lift lines. I’m so grateful for people returning to our little mountain town!

Family Portrait Session Turned to Proposal Session

The Leeds family planned their first trip after quarantine to the mountains. They rented a home over in Buena Vista and planned to come over to Breckenridge to have their family session with me. The mom, Shannon, and Hayden her daughter’s boyfriend had a little idea. They decided to turn this family session into a surprise proposal to Hannah. It was so much fun pulling this off and making this super special for all of them to be there for the moment Hayden proposed.

Boreas Pass Road Location for Family Photo Shoot

This Breckenridge family portrait session took place at one of my favorite locations, Boreas Pass Road. Normally, the road would have been open to cars by this point in the summer. It was delayed, and though it is now open, the gate was still up during our session. It was still a nice private spot for our family session and the Leeds girls looked gorgeous in their summer dresses. Hannah and Abby were both wearing dresses from Lulus and now I want to revamp my whole summer wardrobe.

 

Summer family portrait session in Breckenridge
Boreas Pass Road Summer family portrait session

couples portraits during professional portrait session with Andrea Stark Photography

Boreas Pass Road rock tunnel family portrait in Breckenridge

Family portrait photographer in Breckenridge Colorado

Leeds Sisters in Breckenridge Colorado during their family portrait session

Leeds Sisters in Breckenridge Colorado during their family portrait session

Dad with daughters family portrait photography in Breckenridge Colorado

Dad with daughters family portrait photography in Breckenridge Colorado

mother daughter pictures during professional family portrait photography session in Breckenridge Colorado

Couples portraits Breckenridge Colorado

Couples portraits Breckenridge Colorado

Couples portraits Breckenridge Colorado

Family of five portrait with mountain views in Breckenridge

Want to see Hayden’s surprise proposal to Hannah? Of course you do! Take a look and see the sweet shock on her face when he got down on one knee.

I love these moments so much and am so grateful to get to capture milestone’s for people like this in the mountains!